Mona Kattan, co-founder and global president of Huda Beauty, has an exciting new launch to look forward to. The 35-year-old entrepreneur has recently launched Kayali Fragrances in India, bringing a unique method of layering of fragrances to the country. We caught up with the biz woman to talk about her fave fragrances, get an insight into her collection and more.
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ELLE: Tell us about the story of Kayali Fragrances. Why did you decide to launch a perfume brand?
Mona Kattan (MK): I’ve always been completely obsessed with perfumes. One of my earliest memories of fragrance was the jasmine that my mother used to wear, and from that first smell, I was completely hooked! Kayali means ‘my imagination’ in Arabic and is a real combination of my upbringing in the US and my Arabic heritage. Something that’s really common in the Middle East is the layering of your fragrances. Men and women alike often wear several fragrances at one time to create a bespoke fragrance that nobody else has, and this is exactly what we created Kayali for.
ELLE: Which are the three scents that you feel every woman should have in her collection?
MK: I love the scent of vanilla. It’s so warm and cosy, which is a real must now as we’re getting into winter. Musk is a scent that I feel not too many people are familiar with, but it’s a beautifully sensual fragrance. I love wearing it when I get dressed up for a girls’ night out. I think white floral fragrances are also a definite must in every woman’s fragrance wardrobe. For me, they’re super feminine and nostalgic.
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ELLE: What are some of the mistakes people often make while selecting the perfect fragrances, and how can they be avoided?
MK: Choosing the right scent is so personal. Fragrances can smell completely different on different people’s skin. So I would say that before you commit to purchasing a fragrance, you should first spray it onto your skin and see how the scent makes you feel. I often like to spray a fragrance, wait a while and then come back to it as it may smell a bit different once it’s settled. So I would say take your time in finding the scent that’s perfect for you.
ELLE: White Flower is one of your favourites fragrances. Tell us about the journey behind creating the iconic fragrance.
MK: Kayali Déjà vu White Flower | 57 is one of my absolute favourite fragrances. I’ve always loved white florals like jasmine, tuberose and gardenia, but wanted to create a white floral fragrance with a modern twist. So together with our perfumer from Firmenich, we set out to source the most luxurious raw materials from around the world including Jasmine and Tuberose from India, Patchouli from Indonesia, Sandalwood from Sri Lanka and Vanilla from Tahiti. White Flower is so special to me because it took so long for us to perfect; the number 57 in the name of the fragrance actually represents the number of modifications it took to get the juice just right. The period when we started working on White Flower was a time when I was making a lot of changes in my life, so there’s a real nostalgia that’s attached to it for me.
ELLE: What are some of the fragrances in Kayali’s Indian collection that you would want people to explore?
MK: Nykaa has the complete collection of our Kayali Eau de Parfums which I’m so happy about. This includes Déjà vu White Flower | 57, Elixir | 11, Citrus | 8, Musk | 12 and Vanilla |28. This is the perfect collection to inspire anyone to start layering. And for those who want to give each of our fragrances from Collection 01 a try before fully committing, we’ve got a coffret with four adorable, mini-sized fragrances so that you can determine which is your favourite layering combination. Nykaa also has our White Flower Hair Mist which introduces a new way to wear fragrance and elevates your perfume layering to the next level! That may be the product that I’m most excited about!